Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What Is Mold?
Mold on Drywall
|Mold is a simple, tiny, living organism growing wherever it gets enough water to reproduce. Mold will not grow unless water is present. It grows more quickly if there are water leaks, spills, high humidity, or condensation. Mold can be any color or texture.
Mold Behind Wallpaper
|Mold is found both indoors and outdoors. Mold can enter your home through open doorways, windows, vents, and heating and air conditioning systems. Mold in the air outside can also attach itself to clothing, shoes, bags, and pets can and be carried indoors.
Mold will grow in places with a lot of moisture, such as around leaks in roofs, windows, or pipes, or where there has been flooding. Mold grows well on paper products, cardboard, ceiling tiles, and wood products. Mold can also grow in dust, paints, wallpaper, insulation, drywall, carpet, fabric, and upholstery.
It is important to quickly identify and correct any moisture sources before mold develops. Just because a mold is present does not mean a toxin is present. Generally, the Ohio Indoor Air Quality Coalition does not recommend testing for mold because regardless of the type, the clean-up process is necessary.
Mold And Your Health
Exposure to damp and moldy environments may cause a variety of health effects. Some people are sensitive to molds, and for those people, molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, and in some cases, skin irritation. People with mold allergies may have more severe reactions to mold. People with a weak immune system or chronic lung illnesses, such as obstructive lung disease, may get serious infections in their lungs when exposed to mold. Those people should stay away from areas that are likely to have mold, such as compost piles, cut grass, and wooded areas.
Steps To Remove Mold From Your House
- Find and fix the water problem.
- Dry everything - start as soon as possible.
- Move wet items away from the wall and floor.
- For larger problems use fans and de-humidifiers.
- Remove moldy items.
- Cover with plastic and throw away.
- If sewage has been in the house, throw away all soiled items.
- Protect yourself and others. During cleanup wear long sleeves and pants, rubber gloves, eye goggles, N-95 rated "dust" masks. If anyone in the home has asthma or a chronic disease, do the cleanup when they are not in the home.
- Clean solid surfaces. Scrub moldy surfaces with a stiff brush, hot water, and a non-ammonia soap.
- Collect excess cleaning liquid with a mop, sponge, or wet/dry vacuum.
- Rinse area with clean water and remove rinse water.
- Disinfect surfaces.
- Keep the humidity level in your home between 40% and 60%. Use an air conditioner or a dehumidifier during humid months and in damp spaces, like basements.
- Be sure your home has enough ventilation. Use exhaust fans which vent outside your home in the kitchen and bathroom. Make sure your clothes dryer vents outside your home.
- Fix any leaks in your home’s roof, walls, or plumbing so mold does not have moisture to grow.
- Clean up and dry out your home thoroughly and quickly (within 24–48 hours) after flooding.
- Add mold inhibitors to paints before painting.
- Clean bathrooms with mold-killing products.
- Remove or replace carpets and upholstery that have been soaked and cannot be dried promptly. Consider not using carpet in rooms or areas like bathrooms or basements that may have a lot of moisture.
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